PlayStation plans to release “more than 10” live service games by March 2026, a feat that will be helped by its acquisition of Bungie.
Speaking during Sony’s latest earnings call, CFO Hiroki Totoki said, “Through close collaboration with Bungie and the PlayStation Studios, we aim to launch more than 10 live service games by the fiscal year ending March 31 2026.”
Live service games are games that are updated with new content over time, often making the majority of their money through in-game purchases, rather than initial sales. Totoki pointed to a huge jump in revenue from these kinds of games as part of the reason for Sony pursuing the model:
“From calendar year 2014 to calendar year 2021, the size of the global game content market doubled, driven by add-on content revenue from live game services, which grew at an average annual rate of 15% during this period. We expect this trend to continue going forward.”
Bungie’s early investment into live service games with the launch of Destiny in 2014 allowed it to accumulate “a wealth of experience and superb technology in the space,” Totoki said, something Sony sees as a major asset in acquiring the studio.
“The strategic significance of this acquisition lies not only in obtaining the highly successful Destiny franchise as well as major new IP that Bungie is currently developing,” explained Totoki, “but also in incorporating into the Sony group the expertise and technologies that Bungie has developed in the live game services space.
“We intend to utilize these strengths when developing game IP at the PlayStation Studios, as we expand into the live game services area.”
It will be something of a major shift for first-party Sony games, which have tended to focus on single-player narrative experiences in recent years, often to huge acclaim. It’s unlikely that Sony will abandon that strategy, but it feels likely that live service games will become a major part of the company’s output.
Bungie is already working on a “comedic” new IP that is quite possibly a part of the selection of live service games that Sony plans on releasing.
Interestingly, while these may be first-party games, they may not be the exclusives that Sony is notable for sticking to. Totoki also said the company plans to extend its presence across non-PlayStation platforms, referencing the recent success of God of War on PC. “We intend to acquire new users and increased engagement on platforms other than PlayStation,” he said.
This push could be tied to the Xbox Game Pass competitor that Sony is reportedly working on, but could also mean its continued release of first-party PlayStation games on PC, and the work of Bungie in a multiplaform space.
The combination of live service titles and mutliplatform releases is something Sony is banking on as a huge revenue driver in the coming years: “Catalyzed by the acquisition of Bungie,” continued Totoki, “we intend to accelerate the growth of our first-party game software revenue, aiming to more than double the amount by FY 2025.”
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer who occasionally remembers to tweet @thelastdinsdale.